Jubilee FPSO to be shut down for 3 months next year

The Jubilee FPSO will be shut down for about three months from next year, some partners on the Jubilee Field has revealed.


Sources say the shutdown will happen between February to July in 2017. This will allow the partners, to complete works on one of the major equipment that aids exploration of crude oil from the seabed. It’s however not clear for now, the impact of this on crude production and gas supplies for power generation.

This is because managers of the TEN oil fields say they can start exporting gas from that area possibly from July next year. Meanwhile Group Chief Executive of TULLOW Oil, Aden Heavey, related that these works, should help correct all the problems with the Jubilee FPSO turret bearing which has been their major headache over the last year.

Sources say the challenges with the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah turret bearing are being addressed. The solution comes in three (3) phases. These are in the short term, medium term and long term. Short-term measure involves: Quick interventions to immediately minimize the impact of the problem on production. We are currently in this phase. “Heading Control” – This involves holding the FPSO in one position by 3 tug boats to reduce stress from the rotation and allow for production to continue. A case-to-operate (New operating protocols put in place to follow under abnormal conditions) have been developed and are being used.

This is reviewed and renewed periodically. Interim or Medium term measure involves three (3) stages: Stage One: Turret locking – This involves locking bearing in order to prevent any rotational movement of the FPSO. This will be done in early September 2016. Stage Two: deploying temporary spread mooring system by installing mooring lines (3 x 4 mooring lines) and anchors. Engineering and fabrication of this spread mooring are being done. It is estimated that the temporary spread mooring will be installed during the fourth quarter 2016. There will be about 20 days of oil production reduction during the installation period.

Stage Three: Lifting and stabilization of the turret – This is to allow load transfer from the bearing and that prepare the FPSO to be rotated to its optimum heading. Long term measure: Permanent solution is to rotate the vessel to its optimum heading of about 190 degrees based on current studies and permanently spread moored to FPSO. This will be followed by engineering, fabrication construction and installation of CALM Buoy for lifting of the crude oil since FPSO tandem lifting may not be possible after the spread mooring. This will result in total FPSO shutdown in between 11 to 13 weeks. The shutdown is estimated to occur on three different occasions between February to July 2017. After this stage, it is anticipated that normal operations will be restored. The Calm Buoy will be installed within first half of 2018.

Meanwhile, Group Chief Executive of TULLOW Oil Aden Heavey noted that, these works, should help correct all the problems with the Jubilee FPSO, turret bearing, which has been their major headache over the last year. However, in a related development, CEO of the Ghana National Gas Company, Dr George Sipa Yankey is assuring the public that the shut off of the Jubilee FPSO will not affect gas supplies from the country’s oil fields to the Atuobo Gas Processing Plant.

Dr Sipa Yankey has told that measures have been put in place to ensure that power generation does not suffer as a result of this challenge. “This will result in the Atuabo plant receiving gas from the TEN oil fields, whiles the Jubilee FPSO of down,” he said.

Dr Yankey said this after a program to sign an agreement with a Chinese firm, to kick start the processes for the construction a 24-inch-diameter, 290-kilometre Onshore Pipeline estimated to cost about $500 million dollars. This will help transport gas from Aboadze in the Western Region to Tema in the Greater Accra Region

Source: GNA/News Ghana

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